APPENDIX C.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

As stated in the preface, the nomenclature to be adopted for weights and measures

has presented great difficulty. Agricola uses, throughout, the Roman and the Romanized

Greek scales, but in many cases he uses these terms merely as lingual equivalents for the

German quantities of his day. Moreover the classic language sometimes failed him, where−

upon he coined new Latin terms adapted from the Roman scale, and thus added further

confusion. We can, perhaps, make the matter clearer by an illustration of a case in weights.

The Roman

centúmpondium,

composed of 100

librae,

the old German

centner

of 100

pfundt,

and the English hundredweight of 112 pounds can be called lingual equivalents. The first

weighs about 494,600 Troy grains, the second 721,900, and the third 784,000. While the

divisions of the

centumpondium

and the

centner

are the same, the

libra

is divided into 12

unciae

and the

pfundt

into 16

untzen,

and in most places a summation of the units given proves that

the author had in mind the Roman ratios. However, on p. 509 he makes the direct statement

that the

centumpondium

weighs 146

librae,

which would be about the correct weight if the

centumpondium

referred to was a

centner.

If we take an example such as "each

centum−

pondium

of lead contains one

uncia

of silver", and reduce it according to purely lingual equiva−

lents, we should find that it runs 24.3 Troy ounces per short ton, on the basis of Roman

values, and 18.25 ounces per short ton, on the basis of old German. If we were to trans−

late these into English lingual equivalents of one ounce per hundredweight, then the value

would be 17.9 ounces per short ton.

Several possibilities were open in translation: first, to calculate the values accur−

ately in the English units; second, to adopt the nearest English lingual equivalent; third,

to introduce the German scale of the period; or, fourth, to leave the original Latin in the

text. The first would lead to an indefinite number of decimals and to constant doubt as to

whether the values, upon which calculations were to be based, were Roman or German. The

second, that is the substitution of lingual equivalents, is objectionable, not only because

it would indicate values not meant by the author, but also because we should have, like

Agricola, to coin new terms to accommodate the lapses in the scales, or again to use decimals.

In the third case, that is in the use of the old German scale, while it would be easier to adapt

than the English, it would be more unfamiliar to most readers than the Latin, and not so

expressive in print, and further, in some cases would present the same difficulties of cal−

culation as in using the English scale. Nor does the contemporary German translation of

De

Re Metallica

prove of help, for its translator adopted only lingual equivalents, and in conse−

quence the summation of his weights often gives incorrect results. From all these possibilities

we have chosen the fourth, that is simply to reproduce the Latin terms for both weights and

measures. We have introduced into the footnotes such reductions to the English scale as we

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considered would interest readers. We have, however, digressed from the rule in two cases,

in the adoption of "foot" for the Latin

pes,

and "fathom" for

passus.

Apart from the fact

that these were not cases where accuracy is involved, Agricola himself explains (p. 77)

that he means the German values for these particular terms, which, fortunately, fairly closely

approximate to the English. Further, we have adopted the Anglicized words "digit",

"palm", and "cubit", instead of their Latin forms.

For purposes of reference, we reproduce the principal Roman and old German scales,

in so far as they are used by Agricola in this work, with their values in English. All students

of weights and measures will realize that these values are but approximate, and that this is

not an occasion to enter upon a discussion of the variations in different periods or by different

authorities. Agricola himself is the author of one of the standard works on Ancient Weights

and Measures (see Appendix A), and further gives fairly complete information on contem−

porary scales of weight and fineness for precious metals in Book VII. p. 262 etc., to which

we refer readers.

ROMAN SCALES OF WEIGHTS.

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Troy Grains.

1 Siliqua = .... 2.87

6 Siliquae = 1 Scripulum

.. 17.2

4 Scripula = 1 Sextula

.. 68.7

6 Sextulae = 1

Uncia

.. 412.2

12 Unciae = 1 Libra

.. 4946.4

100 Librae = 1

Centumpondium

.. 494640.0

Also

1 Scripulum = ..

.. 17.2

3 Scripula = 1

Drachma

.. 51.5

2 Drachmae = 1

Sicilicus

.. 103.0

4 Sicilici = 1

Uncia

.. 412.2

8 Unciae = 1

Bes

..

.. 3297.6

SCALE OF FINENESS

(AGRICOLA' S ADAPTATION).

4 Siliquae = 1 Unit of

Siliquae

3 Units of Siliquae

= 1 Semi−sextula

4 Semi−sextulae

= 1 Duella

24 Duellae

= 1 Bes

OLD GERMAN SCALE OF WEIGHTS.

Troy Grains.

1 Pfennig = ..

.. 14.1

4 Pfennige = 1 Quintlein

.. 56.4

4 Quintlein = 1 Loth

.. 225.6

2 Loth = 1 Untzen

.. 451.2

8 Untzen = 1 Mark

.. 3609.6

2 Mark = 1 Pfundt

.. 7219.2

100 Pfundt = 1

Centner

.. 721920.0

SCALE OF FINENESS.

3 Grenlin = 1

Gran

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4 Gran = 1 Krat

24 Krat = 1 Mark

ROMAN LONG MEASURE.

Inches.

1 Digitus = ..

.. .726

4 Digiti = 1 Palmus

.. 2.90

4 Palmi = 1

Pes

.. 11.61

1 1/2 Pedes = 1 Cubitus

.. 17.41

5 Pedes = 1 Passus

.. 58.1

Also

1 Roman Uncia =

.. .97

12 Unciae = Pes

.. 11.61

GREEK LONG MEASURE.

1 Dactylos = ..

.. .758

4 Dactyloi = 1 Palaiste

.. 3.03

4 Palaistai = 1 Pous

.. 12.135

1 1/2 Pous

1 Pechus

.. 18.20

6 Pous = 1 Oryguia

.. 72.81

OLD GERMAN LONG MEASURE.

Inches.

1 Querfinger = ..

..

.703

16 Querfinger = 1 Werckschuh

..

11.247

2 Werckschuh = 1

Elle

..

22.494

3 Elle = 1 Lachter

..

67.518

Also 1 Zoll = ..

.. .85

12 Zoll = 1 Werkschuh

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ROMAN LIQUID MEASURE.

Cubic

inches.

Pints.

1 Quartarius =

..

8.6

.. .247

4 Quartarii = 1 Sextarius

..

31.4

.. .991

6 Sextarii = 1 Congius

..

206.4

.. 5.947

16 Sextarii = 1 Modius

..

550.4

.. 15.867

8 Congii = 1 Amphora

..

1650.0

.. 47.577

(Agricola nowhere uses the Saxon liquid measures, nor do they fall into units comparable

with the Roman).

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